What is the best way to backup MiniDV content?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by 9Charms, Jan 7, 2007.

  1. 9Charms macrumors regular

    9Charms

    Joined:
    May 19, 2006
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #1
    I have 12 miniDV tapes I'd like to preserve. These are the originals from the videographer who did my wedding, so they are quite important.

    I would like to import these onto an external hard drive somehow. I don't have a MiniDV camera, but can borrow one. I have both an XP machine with Premiere Pro and a MacMini G4 with iMovie (can probably borrow a friend's copy of FCP).

    I have the 90min video from the videographer, but one day I would like to edit a 6-hour version of the wedding for the parents. (They're Chinese and want to remember everything; if you're asian, you'll know what I mean). I have not decided how I'm going to do this project software-wise or hardware-wise yet.

    So my question is this: what is the best way to backup these tapes while giving me the hardware/software flexibility I'll need in the future? Is there a pure MiniDV file format I can use or something?
     
  2. FF_productions macrumors 68030

    FF_productions

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2005
    Location:
    Mt. Prospect, Illinois
    #2
    Capture with Final Cut Pro and it will capture raw video as does all editing programs. Take that raw video and stick it on another hard drive.

    One thing to note, It's 13 gigs to the hour.
     
  3. marioman38 macrumors 6502a

    marioman38

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2006
    Location:
    Elk Grove, CA
    #3
    The "Pure Mini-DV File Format" is .DV

    I believe you can just import the tapes into iMovie, and the .DV files will reside in the media folder of your imovie project.
     
  4. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #4
    Making a 2nd set of MiniDV tapes is the best way to back up the originals.


    Lethal
     
  5. cyclotron451 macrumors regular

    cyclotron451

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2005
    Location:
    Europe
    #5
    it is hard to back-up data for archive!

    just another comment that the "sugar-cube sized" reliable personal lifetime storage system has not yet gone on sale. Most current Hard-Disk solutions (below 1 Terabyte) seem to currently start failing within 5 years, it is possible that the 2007 Terabyte Disks will have a failure within 3 years or so? Home-recorded Optical disks CD/R DVD/R etcetera seem to have a lifetime of about 5 years, dependent on storage conditions. My analog-era Sony Hi-8 tape still plays after 15 years, I bought a hybrid Hi-8 Digi-8 camcorder and an EyeTV 200 video digitizer module for the Mac, and a low priced Panasonic Mini-DV with DIGITAL-INPUT, with this setup it is possible to transfer to a Mac with the highest possible quality, potentially archiving to a real RAID array, otherwise save to (several!) "smallest size hdd that you can get away with" 120GB?? and put them unpowered in a datasafe, whilst also re-creating/saving the data in the latest format on the latest miniDV or HDV tapes. Maybe there would exist some serious online data warehousing? Wikipedia says that there is currently a backup gap for home archives. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Videotape

    re-Save often, at least every 5 years, and remember that ALL HARD DISKS EVENTUALLY FAIL, its just that they vary a bit statistically, the same goes for home-recorded-optical disks, even BluRay or HD-DVD.

    16GB Flash drives are starting to appear at $500 dollars or so, I think you might EVENTUALLY be able to afford enough Flash-Ram (maximum number of read/write cycles applies)

    good luck, make tapes!
     
  6. -DH macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2006
    Location:
    Nashville Tennessee
    #6
    I also recommend dubbing to DV tape via Firewire to make a second set of the originals.

    -DH
     
  7. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #7
    DV tapes are very easy to backup because there is no generational loss. The 100'th copy is as good as the first.

    The simplest way is to download these to the computer using a firewitre connection and then put a blank tape in the camera and "print" the DV file back to tape. This runs in "real time" so it will take 12 hours to make one full copy or 18 hours to make two copies.

    For this project I would recommend Final Cut Express. Don't use iMovie. You need an editor that allows multiple video tracks on the time line. I assume this was shot using mutliple cameras. You will need an editor that is sophisticated enough that you can pull the sound off and cut it independently of the video. You need a multi track editor.

    Buy a book in film editing. NOT on "how to use Final Cut" but on the art of editing. If you know only the very basics you will be so far ahead of the game, so go to Amazon and find some film making books.

    One workflow that some people use is to load all ofthe "source tapes" (that's what you have now) onto the disk then simply "cull" out the crud -- that is the stuff you can't possibly use, camera pointed at empty space, out of focus, ... Then after culling print this back to tape and call this the "master". For many people the master can be MUCH smaller then the source tapes. So you edit from the Master. BWT 6 hours of DV is 36GB, not a lot in 2007.

    You can also make backups of DV tapes with no computer if you have two DV cameras and a fire wire cable.
     
  8. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #8
    Might want to check your math. ;)

    6hrs of DV is gonna be a bit over 80 gigs. Still not a lot in '07 though.


    Lethal
     
  9. ShermDog macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago
    #9
    I was in the same boat as you a couple years back. I ended up making back-up copies of the original miniDV tapes onto new miniDV tapes. But, I also keep the original iMovie project on a spare hard drive. Since my wedding was also shot on multiple tapes, I imported each one into iMovie separately, and saved them as full quality DV movies, which I then burned onto DVD-Rs.

    In the end, I have 4 back-up copies of the original tapes: 1 on miniDV, 1 on HD, and 2 on DVD-R. It might seem a bit overboard, but I only plan on getting married once, and it'll be nice to have a copy to reminisce about when my wife and I finally do lose our minds and can't remember anything. :p
     
  10. 9Charms thread starter macrumors regular

    9Charms

    Joined:
    May 19, 2006
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #10
    Thank you for the responses, everyone.

    Chris A: Thank you for that incredibly well thought-out and thorough response --great advice indeed.

    ShermDog: I will probably end up doing what you have done, except maybe with FCP or Premiere (on XP).

    -------------------
    Additiontally For FCP, will my Mac Mini G4 1.42 (1GB RAM) be enough for this project?
     
  11. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2002
    Location:
    Cascadia
    #11
    Just another voice in the crowd here: Back up to another mini DV tape. Tape is known to be a good, reliable backup medium. Use brand new tapes, and keep the copies in a completely separate location from the originals. Not even in the same house. Your wedding is important, so if you have a safety deposit box, use that. Otherwise, store them at a reliable friend or family member's house.

    And when you do finally get to editing it down to something more manageably watch-able (I know, I'm just as bad. I've been married 5 years now, and I still haven't done the editing on my wedding footage,) burn multiple DVDs of it, and then back up the final edited version to a mini DV tape as well. (I have a few mini DV tapes that are solely backups of already iMovie-edited movies.) It's good to have a full quality backup, that way later, if you decide to make changes, even if you don't have the original source raw material, you do at least have a 'maximum quality' finished copy to start from. I made that mistake when editing movies on Windows before I got my Mac. I wrote them out to DVD, then deleted the original footage, so now I want to go back and edit the title sequences, (to be more 'fancy iMovie' instead of 'crappy Windows Movie Maker') I can't do so without some quality loss.
     
  12. killr_b macrumors 6502a

    killr_b

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2005
    Location:
    Suckerfornia
    #12

    Agreed. ;)
     

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